Two of the most brilliant
women in film teamed up to make 35 Shots of Rum (2008) a
bittersweet, meditative, and visually sublime study of the changing
relationship between an aging father and his adult daughter as the former
retires and latter gets the itch to move on. Director Claire Denis captures the
mood and rhythms of her mentor, Yasujiro Ozu, and Agnès Godard's cinematography
sets the story intimately in the world of working class, multi-cultural
I start to worry about my judgment when I see that the things I like about
some films rouse people to litigation and rioting.
For example, in Michigan a woman is taking
the makers of "Drive" to court because
she claims they misrepresented the film in the trailers, and instead of the mindless "Fast and Furious"- like car crashes and noisy action
sequences that she was expecting, she instead saw a brilliant transformation of a genre film into a
masterpiece of mood, narrative, and subtle characterization that explores the
nature of violence, love, loyalty, and, well, driving.
Agnés Godard is one of the
world's great cinematographers and has worked with the biggest names in cinema,
as is evident in the retrospective Agnés Godard's Inexhaustible Landscapes. Screening tonight is Erick Zonca's The
Dreamlife Of Angels (1998), the story of
the bond between two plucky working-class women and the ne'er-do-well who
threatens to come between them.
Freedom," otherwise known as the War in Afghanistan, grinds into its tenth year
today. It is now longer than the previous longest-lasting conflict in American
history, the War in Vietnam.
In 1967 that war stirred a group of
filmmakers, including Jean-Luc Godard, Chris Marker, and Joris Ivens, to make a
protest film, "Far from Vietnam
Excerpt from Out of the Present (1999)
Romania has produced some great feature
film directors of late; lesser known are its outstanding documentarians. Such
as Andrei Ujica, who takes found footage and archival material and shapes them
into poetic - and sometimes self-referential - investigations into the past and
its implications for the present and future.
Local icon Jimmy Tingle, one of the few
bonafide practitioners of the great tradition of political comedy, now adds a
film to his credits. Directed by Vincent Straggas, Jimmy Tingle's American Dream (2010) follows the funnyman
as he seeks the meaning of the title phantasm, querying pundits such as Howard
Zinn, Robert Altman, Willie Nelson, and his own mother, Frances.
Dedicated to increasing
multicultural awareness through the power of cinema, the brand new Arlington
International Film Festival runs October 6-9 at the Regent Theatre, screening 15
features from around the world as well as numerous shorts. It starts this
evening with Anne Makepeace's award winning documentary We Still Live Here (2010), about Jesse Little Doe Baird, a member of the
Mashpee Wampanoag tribe who, with the help of MIT linguistics professor Norvin
Richards, reconstructed the language of her people, last spoken 100 years ago.
Dr. Strangelove (1964)
Here's a cinephile's dream: Stanley Kubrick directing
a Marx Brothers movie. The next best thing might be this twin bill of the two
cinema legends' funniest, and most politically incisive, films. In Duck
(1933; 7:15 pm), Groucho plays Professor Rufus T. Firefly, a disreputable wise
guy and con man who finds himself unexpectedly appointed the dictator of
After seeing, and smelling,
the blossoming corpse plant at a Seattle conservatory a few months back, the
first thing I (and just about everyone else) thought was, "That
looks just like Audrey Junior in Little Shop Of Horrors (1960)!"
Maybe Ecologist Aaron Ellison can explain if there is any connection
between the two intimidating tubers when he discusses carnivorous plants after
this Science on Screen screening of the film.
There are more than leaves to peep at if you're in Maine this weekend. The
Camden International Film Festival, now in its seventh year,
might not be the biggest such event in the region, but it certainly is one of
the most focused, best programmed, and most provocative, dedicated as it is to the art of
documentary, certainly one of the most influential and vital genres today.